Catharine Clark Gallery It was hard not to be completely in awe of Julie Heffernan’s show at the Catharine Clark Gallery. It’s been awhile since we’ve seen an artist with the guts to try their hand at Baroque-style painting while maintaining their own unique sensibilities and manage to pull it off with such astounding success. Heffernan does so effortlessly, creating a world of opulence, grace, playfulness and light.

Sometimes called a contemporary surrealist, Heffernan falls upon the imagery in her dreams to populate the interior spaces of her compositions which often refer to grand ballrooms and ornate drawing rooms, while her figures are weighted by fantastical costumes overwrought with flora and fauna. As a result of drawing so directly from the narratives of her subconscious, Heffernan considers each work a kind of self-portrait.

Image: Self-Portrait as Tender Mercenary, oil on canvas, Julie Heffernan